The Barkly Highway
, now also promoted as part of the Overlander's Way, is a sealed road connecting the states of Qld & NT. The road connects the Three Ways Roadhouse in the Northern Territory
to the township of Cloncurry in Queensland
The Barkly Highway
forms the main transport route between Queensland
and the Northern Territory
, and consequently it is heavily used by road trains and tourists.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
Between Cloncurry to Mount Isa, the Barkly Highway winds through the spectacular Swelwyn Ranges. Around Camooweal you'll see wide expanses of Mitchell grass plains and spinifex woodland. Closer to Tennant Creek, the Barkly Tablelands are an enormous expanse of cattle stations and scrubby grasslands. These habitats do not support a great variety of wildlife with just a brushtail possum, the antechinus, and dunnart being the few mammals known to exist in small isolated pockets.
There are many grasslands birds however, such as bronzewing, night parrots, and seasonal wetlands birds may occasionally be seen during periods of flooding.
Snakes, reptiles and amphibians can adapt to the clay soils between the wet summer season to the dry winter season.
In 1861, William Landsborough explored the western regions of Queensland
and named a wide section of scrubby grasslands to the north-east of Tennant Creek after Sir Henry Barkly, the then Governor of Victoria
The route of today's Barkly Highway
follows a stock route that was formerly used by drovers to herd their cattle through the Tablelands. It was put to use during wartime as a defence road and bitumen surfacing works commenced in 1943. The highway was named and registered in 1947.
An upgrade of the Queensland
section of the highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal was completed in 2008.